While traveling to Portugal, I decided to plan about five days on Madeira Island.
Madeira has been called "The Pearl of the Atlantic" because of its lush beauty. When we arrived, I could see just why this little bit of heaven was given that title. The abundance of gorgeous flowers and foliage, the bright blue sky, the clear shimmering sea all added up to a stunning visual treat.
There are so many things to do and see there. You can sail, swim, surf, fish, or dive. There are informative museum, city and island tours.
When you think of Madeira you also think of hundreds of flowers, the world renowned Madeira wine, toboggan rides, and fresh seafood.
We made Funchal, the capital, our home base. Funchal is said to be the cleanest city in Europe.
We visited the Chafariz Plaza and the flower stalls. The women flower sellers wear the traditional regional dress and sell a huge variety of tropical native blooms such as Bird of Paradise (the island's symbol), roses, orchids, and lilies.
I enjoyed the visit to Blandy's Wine Lodge (founded in 1811). It is located in the center of Funchal. The historic tour took about an hour as we were shown the process of making Madeira wines.
A visit to Camara de Lobos where Winston Churchill painted showed us a small peaceful fishing village.
I mentioned toboggan rides. Well,the Monte Toboggan is a one mile ride (10 minutes) as you glide down in a wicker basket on wooden slats.
You'll love this striking island.